STATES CHRONICLE – On October 17, NASA has revealed spectacular photos of ultraviolet sparks on Mars. The Maven spaceship has captured outstanding images. The ship is currently orbiting around Mars, and it was able to acquire incredibly detailed photos of the glowing atmosphere of Mars due to ultraviolet rays. Maven rocket has captured a series of images, both by day and by night to try and develop a comparison. The pictures which envisaged ultraviolet rays during day time have proved that the amounts of ozone are progressively changing once the season is changing. The captures have also revealed the immense Martian volcanoes covered by clouds.
Nick Schneider, who is a professor at the University of Colorado, has argued that Maven has managed to capture valuable images during the past few months. The accuracy and the resolution of the pictures help scientists analyze the ultraviolet sparks. NASA’s spaceship set for Mars in 2013, and after a space journey which lasted a year, the rocket had safely arrived. This spacecraft called Mars Atmosphere, and Volatile Evolution Mission has left Earth to dedicate to analyzing the Martian upper atmosphere.
People from NASA have published some of the captures taken by Maven. One of them explicitly shows the nightglow that indicates the circulation of the winds. The ultraviolet sparks are actually nightglows which appear in the sky even in the absence of external light. The atmosphere of the Martian nightside emits ultraviolet sparks due to the chemical reactions that happen during Mars’ dayside.
The ultraviolet radiation which comes from the sun fragments itself into nitrogen and carbon dioxide molecules. These atoms are further carried away by powerful winds which circle the planet. On Mars’ night side, these winds lower their intensity, bringing the molecules down where nitrogen and oxygen atoms mix to develop molecules of nitric oxide. They have predicted its presence for a long time, but now this event has proved it. These spectacular images were captured with the help of the Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS), situated at Maven’s board.
All these images together with the analyses will be soon presented at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences which will take place in California, being held by the European Planetary Science Congress. This conference will occur on October 19.
Image source: wikipedia